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MSNBC News Live

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U.s. 15, Washington 8, Tokyo 8, Japan 8, United States 6, Us 6, Andrea Mitchell 5, Sarah Palin 5, Contessa 4, California 4, Clinton 3, New York 3, Palin 3, Gilbert Gottfried 2, Daiichi 2, George Lewis 2, Navy 2, Sharpton 2, Fettuccini Alfredo 2, Norah O'donnell 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events. New.  

    March 15, 2011
    12:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

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panic about the radiation in the air as well. dangerous levels are leaking from the plant. >> all right, all right, all right. >> this is the seen in fukushima's largest city, people lining up at a contamination economic point. this woman said she'll be relieved once she's tested. 70,000 people have been evacuated from a 12-mile radius around the daiichi plant, 140,000 remain in the 20-mile warning zone. authorities have told them to stay inside and seal doors and windows. >> translator: the leaked radiation level is now rather high, and there's a high chance of further leakage of radiation from now on. >> all but 50 workers have left. those who remain have been quarantined and are staying to contain further damage. satellite images show how reactor 2 looked before and after the explosions. the company says the explosions did not harm the heavy steel vessel or the metal and concrete domes that contain the nuclear
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material. and company executives have publicly apologized. in the event of a large meltdown, the japanese government has distributed 230,000 doses of stable iodine to evacuation centers that experts say there isn't a significant health risk yet. >> the amount of radiation that is likely to be released is going to be relatively small compared to an accident like chernobyl. >> we're just learning that a nuclear industry official here in the united states says that the primary containment structure of those reactors in japan, it looks like has breached. it raises the risk now of a further release of radioactive material. let's go right to tokyo now. msnbc chris jansing is standing by. i received a note the winds have shifted and are blowing over the pacific sxnt over tokyo. i'm sure people there are very concerned. >> reporter: it's been a very concerning situation because
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there have been levels, low levels i need to emphasize that of radiation here in tokyo. it has caused enough of a red flag that the french government has advised its citizens to leave the capital. the austrian government is moving its embassy here to osaka. u.s. embassy officials nbc news has learned had a meeting earlier today with folks who work there, with their families to try to elay some of the concerns of americans living here in tokyo. it has been confirmed for us. we talked to people involved in the meeting that several people stood up and said, should i stay or should i go? that is the question a lot of people, especially people are asking here, and it's a very individual kind of answer. three separate families came out of the embassy in the hour that i was standing there. all of them said they were
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considering leaving. when i talked to james wright, who was there with his wife, his 3-year-old daughter, and 5-month-old twins, he was getting the twins' passports so that if they decided to leave, they could. how would he make that decision? here's what he told me. has the nuclear situation made you rethink staying in japan? >> well, it depends on how the wind blows, actually. >> reporter: literally? >> literally. if the wind blows this way, then the quickest flight we can get. by then, of course, it's too late. >> reporter: so a very difficult situation for so many people here, and you mention the aftershocks. we felt it here a few hours ago, that largest one that we've had in several days. i actually thought it lasted so long, contessa, i thought it was three aftershocks but it was actually one. they do sort of roll, if you've ever been an earthquake before,
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it rolled up and got most intense in the middle of the time and abated a bit. it is always a reminder of what's going on here. it is never far away from the consciousness of the people, even those who live hundreds of miles away from that reactor site and the tsunami devastation. >> the aftershocks have to be a concern for the search crews still out looking for people who are alive but trapped. >> reporter: you have that component of it. you also obviously have the component, the concern about whether or not they should be extending the radius where people are evacuated now. they have an area where 140,000 people have been told to stay in their homes in that zone. so it is always a tenuous situation for those highly trained search and rescue team that is come in. there are two of them, by the way, from the united states, contessa, 150 people have come, 12 dogs from virginia and
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los angeles. very dangerous situation for them. those aftershocks as well as the threat of radiation just a part of it. >> all right, chris, thank you for staying on top of the developments there in tokyo. appreciate that. low levels of radiation have been detected on naval bases there. eric slafen is a staff writing for stars and stripes the independent u.s. military paper. he joins me on the phone from the naval air facility atsugi. good to talk to you today. what are you learning about how much radiation the members of our armed forces have been exposed to? >> well, navy commanders have told the residents at this base, which includes roughly 6500 people ranges from sailors to spouses and children that the levels they're experiencing are lower than what you would get on
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a coast-to-coast flight from washington, d.c. to los angeles. that said, they also asked them to stay indoors when they first announced this at 9:30 in the morning, which gave quite a few people a little bit of a scare. as the day went on, i think that scare went to more just a general unease as people began to go ahead about their business as usual. >> the navy says if you stay indoors it cuts your exposure by up to 70%, but these are, again, enlisted members of our armed forces. they have jobs to do and tasks at hand. so are they back outside? >> yes. even during the -- not long after the announcements, you could hear air traffic, their helicopters running flights constantly. in fact, military officials said today that atsugi has delivered 25 tons of relief supplies it to affected areas. operations are still continuing. >> i want to show a map of two naval bases where the low level
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radiation has been detected. it's yoet to and the naval air facility at atsugi. you can be sure the military is mon to hers the air quality at all of our military bases there in japan. so eric, do you personally feel comfortable being there and doing your job as a journalist? >> i do. i've been more focused on doing my job than my own personal safety, but, you know, based on the numbers i've seen and the experts that we've spoken with both civilian expert in hiroshima and australia and the navy experts, their feelings are pretty clear. they don't feel there's a danger at the moment. obviously, it's something that i and everything else here will continue to monitor and hope for
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the best. for now, i don't feel any particular worry about being in this particular area. >> eric, thank you. i appreciate that. the citizens of japan and i mentioned that citizens in the united states and up and down the west coast are trying to prepare for the threat of radiation. discovery channel's aton edwards joins me now. he wrote the book "preparedness now." how do you prepare for radiation leaking from a nuclear plant? >> nathere's nothing you can don terms of plant itself, but there's precautionary measures you can take to help to protect you in the event you have an accident nearby, there's certain things you need to have and know so you could get them. >> you have a few items. >> here's a little device. it's called a nuke alert. this is a radiation monitor. it's a miniature radiation mon for designed for civilians so you don't have to know what it is and all these different things to measure radiation. the cloeser to a radiation source, it chirps like a bird.
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the more radiation, the more chirps. having one of these in a nuclear accident will sometimes depending on how much radiation is released make the difference between -- >> where you take shelter. >> exactly. this is a little device that is a key chain size. it's easy. >> that should go in your go bag, then. >> or your personal kit. you have a particulate face mark. it it protects you. this is an n-100 class. it's an 8236 or something like that. >> can you get that a lowe's or home depot? >> you can get them at medical supply facilities, and basically this is great because it has a seal that you can see here on the inside. when you put it over your face, it has a perfect ceal so there's a barrier in between your face and this so no particulate can slide in. this filters almost 99%. >> do they make those in children's sizes? >> yes, they do.
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kimberly-clark has an n-95 ripgs rater that's a children's size. if you don't know how to use a gas mask, i don't advise it. if you don't know how to use it properly. one of the things they teechl you in the military is when you put on the gas mask, if you put it on the wrong way you scoop up on the air on the outside. you have to blow out before you put it on. this is a complicated. >> that needs some training? >> you see people wearing them. if you're exposed to a lot of radiation, it has eye protection as well. >> briefly, what's in your kit? >> this is a personal kit. this has everything you need in terms of if you had to run, if you don't have a grab and go bag, you have a little bit of everything. medicine, soap, something to cover your hair. for those of you with long hair, for someone like you with long hair, you have to cover your hair in a nuclear accident because that absorbs it. >> by the way, a go bag or a personal kit is useful not just for nuclear accidents but
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obviously all kinds of emergencies. it's something every fame should have. you preach that at every opportunity when we have those sort of reminders on this scale. thanks for joining us. we hear a lot of experts weighing in whether it's from earthquakes or snautsunamis or nuclear meltdowns. would na convince families to move away from the danger before it develops? e-mail at msnbc.com. nuclear officials say it's unlikely it could cross the pacific and harm the health of americans, though other scientists point to the damage chernobyl did around the northern hemisphere. the worry on the west coast is very real. pharmacies say there's a run of potassium iodine. they protect against radiation poisoning of the thyroid gland. one manufacturer says it sold out of more than 10,000 packages
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saturday at a rate of three orders per minutes. normal they get fewer than three calls in a week. george lewis is in ocean shores, washington. are people there concerned about radiation? >> reporter: there is some concern about radiation mere in washington state, contessa. we heard those stories about the run on iodine pills at the local drugstores. emergency operations officials are monitoring radiation levels in the atmosphere in washington state, and they say there's no elevation of those levels. the experts believe that any increased radiation would be pretty much washed away by rain clouds between the time it leaves japan and the time it gets here. they feel there is no cause for panic. they feel there is no reason for people to rush to drugstores to get iodine pills. in fact, doctors say that taking iodine, if you don't know what you're doing, could be detrimental. it can cause allergies in certain people, folks with thyroid problems should avoid it, children should probably
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avoid it. they say don't rush to the drugstore and buy iodine pills and don't worry at least for now about increased levels of radiation, because it just isn't happening. >> let me ask you about the damage. we saw the video in santa cruz of the marina, the boats smashed in. there was damage in hawaii as well. what are you learning about the estimates? >> reporter: well, they're still counting the damage in hawaii where there's been damage to resort facilities and marinas and that sort of thing. i know that in california the estimate so far is about $50 million damage, primarily to santa cruz and crescent city, california. why those two places? apparently they have breakwaters that just funnel the tsunami action right into their harbors, so it amplified the wave action inside the harbors. as you can see from the video, the boats were strewn around kind of like toys, contessa. >> george lewis reports from
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ocean shores, washington. george, thanks. new nuclear concerns in jap fan causing major chaos on wall street today. plus, the u.s. military's role in japan now. how it's saving hundreds of lives. we'll be right back. with country vegetable soup over it, you can do dinner. 4 minutes, around 4 bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.™ you've been stuck in the garage, while my sneezing and my itchy eyes took refuge from the dust in here and the pollen outside. but with 24-hour zyrtec®, i get prescription strength relief from my worst allergy symptoms. it's the brand allergists recommend most. ♪ lily and i are back on the road again. where we belong. with zyrtec®, i can love the air®. where we belong. can a trading site help make you a sharper trader? mine can. td ameritrade can. they've got trading specialists
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in japan they have found isolated groups of quake and tsunami survivors from the air, but getting the help on the ground is a massive challenge. ian williams is at the airbase in japan with more. >> reporter: u.s. military offices are in discussion with japanese counterparts about aid for survivors of the disaster. this could become a forward-operating base for a major u.s. marine operation. we witnessed a transport aircraft fly in earlier, a heavy
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lift lift lifter carrying aid or equipment. hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. the u.s. has already conducted helicopter missions along that battered coastline and found eight isolated communities of survivors. >> we found essentially hundreds of people, 100 at this place, 200 at this place, 300 at this place. it's a matter of getting them out. just like you see in the disaster, they don't want to leave their home and family. >> a lot of of people were finding a lot of different groups, and the japanese are very well organized as far as coming together in large groups. a lot of firefighters and military helping people out. >> they need water, medicine, blankets. they're really practical stuff, is that what you're finding? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: the message from the u.s. side is they're ready to go to bring in a massive amount of assistance as soon as they get the green light from
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japan. you're ready to go once you get the green light? >> absolutely. if our number is called, we're ready to assist in any way possible. >> reporter: today freezing rain isn't ediideal and the nuclear pourt plant could restrict the zones of operation. the damage estimate for japan? about $180 billion, and the cleanup has just begun. what's priority number one here? new details about the driver of the bus that crashed in new york this weekend killing 15 people. you know, there are a lot of people who want fon how in the world did he get a commercial driver's license? apparently having a couple millions of dollars is not nearly enough. [ male announcer ] 95% of all americans
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moammar gadhafi telling rebels surrender or flee. government forces have captured zwara, the last rebel-held town west of tripoli. rebel troops are digging to the east. they've deployed several anti-aircraft guns in case of an air attack. in bahrain the king has declared a three-month state of emergency giving the military broad authority to balgtttle th uprising. violent clashes are escalating after 1,000 saudi troops were dispatched to bahrain to support the royal family. one saudi soldier was shot and killed by a protestor today. secretary of state hillary clinton has just arrived in egypt to urge its military rulers to lay the ground work for a transition to democracy. it is her first visit since the ouster of president mubarak. the house is set to vote today on a short-term spending bill to keep the government open
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for another three weeks. the stop-gap measure would cut 6 billion flt budget. it's needed to avert the shutdown on saturday. the white house and republican lawmakering are seeking a longer-term agreement on spending cuts. we're learning more about the driver involved in that new york tour bus crash that killed 15 people. mr. williams served prison time on two separate occasions for manslaughter and grand larceny. ntsb investigators are piecing together what the bus driver was doing, what he was eating, how much he was sleeping in the 72 hours leading up to saturday's accident. according to local news reports, not only had he spent prison time for stabbing a man to death, but he had applied for a commercial license under an alias. another deadly tour bus crash to tell you about heading down the new jersey turnpike from new york's chinatown. the bus hit a bruj suppoidge sud
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rolled. a terminal a lil 13-month-old baby has been air lifted to a st. louis hospital for a controversial surgery to extend his life. doctors will perform throat surgery on little joseph and connect him to a portable breathing machine. the canadian baby has been diagnosed with a filgts neurological condition and only given a few months to live. canadian doctors planned to take the baby off the ventilator and feeding tube to allow him to die. his parents fought to bring him to the u.s. for surgery. a kentucky teacher's resi resigned after allegations she was found half-naked with a 17-year-old male student in a parked car. 38-year-old biology teacher carrie shafer's a married mother who led one of the school's christian fellowships. police say there was evidence of sexual activity and xhol use, but they charged her with giving
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alcohol to a minor. authorities say more serious charges are likely. comedian gilbert gottfried probably is not laughing right now. an incense active joke that got him fired. sarah palin seems to be losing support among a key constituent because of her ideas or lack thereof. and amid all the destruction, the ruin in japan, a small miracle. my cream is what makes stouffer's fettuccini alfredo so delicious.
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find more ways to get to the table but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at lendingtree.com, where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lending tree at... today. u.s. officials say there's evidence a breach has occurred at the nuclear power plant in japan severely damaged by the quake. there have been three reactor explosions at the daiichi plant, and today word came of a fire breaking out at a fourth reactor. the nuclear energy institute says reports of rising radiation and falling pressure inside the suppression pool indicate the reactor's containment has been
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breached. energy secretary steven chu says the u.s. is watching the situation closely. >> first we're focused on helping in any way we can to help the japanese government and the power company contain -- cool down the reactors containing and stop the leaking. two amazing rescues five days after the quake. a 70-year-old woman rescued from her toppled home, and further down the coast a man in his 20s pulled from the rubble after rescue workers heard him calling for help. but the humanitarian disaster in japan continues to unfold. nbc's ann curry reports from the fishing village of minamisariku. >> along japan's coast a grim task, troops recovering 2,000 bodies that washed ashore today. today we saw our first convoy of military vehicles in the ravaged
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area. this while much of the country and world focus on the safety of the nation's nuclear power plant while people living neert fukushima are scanned are radiation. in the coastal town minamisariku, hope is fleeting. >> translator: my daughter was washed away. i don't know what to say. i hope my daughter is still alive somewhere. >> reporter: tokyo one of the world's largest city has been paralyzed with trains out of service and major stores closed. everyone watches and waits for miracles like this 4-month-old survivor pulled from beneath the rubble by a japanese soldier three days after she went missing, now reunited with her father. >> ann curry reporting. japan's disaster is hitting u.s. stock markets today. the dow fell more than 2% in early trading, now down 168
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points. that was after tokyo's nikkei stock exchange posted a more than 10% drop, the biggest one-day drop since 2008. japan is one of the biggest producer and sellers of goods worldwide. automakers, consumer electronics giants all suffered production losses because of the quake. we have our team from cnbc on what could be a growing economic crisis. melissa francis is at cnbc world headquarters and phil lebow in chicago. give me a sense of the mashlgts and how what's happening in japan is rippling around the world. >> we saw it right away overnight. you saw the nikkei drop. they have stabilized and come back a little bit as we saw futures in japan recover a little bit. mainly it's selling across the board. a liquidation everywhere you look. gold has been down, oil, silver, everything you see. it's been a tough day in the
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market, but right now it is stabilizing a little bit, so that's good. >> phil, when we talk about the car industry, is there an immediate impact? >> huge. they've shut down production through tomorrow for most of the japanese automakers. some extend those cuts through friday. the bigger concern, contessa, is not final assembly of these vehicles, but the parts makers, the special component makers, the electronics, semiconductors, a lot are based for the north of tokyo where we saw the earthquake and tsunami have a devastating impact. in fact, honda has been unable to reach some of its suppliers there. that gives you some sense of the uncertainties there. as a result what we start to see a pull-back not only in production in japan but in the united states. toyota's plant in georgetown, kentucky, they're cutting back on overtime so they conserve the parts they need that they're coming over from japan. >> for the u.s. automakers of japanese cars, are there other
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places they can source those parts? >> sometimes, yes. at this point it's hard to know for sure. they're still trying to figure that out. if they can, certainly they will. remember, these days your special components for a vehicle like the prius, most are made in japan for assembly in japan. you can't go wraen where in the world and get. >> when we talk about other consumer goods, apparently flash driv drives, the plants that manufacture flash drives are out of service. i was even reading about in the united kingdom a run on consumer electronics because of this. zeer >> that's right. so many components are made into japan that go into things that we use. tosihba makes flash memory that goes into apple. analysts say it it could get even worse from here, that 40% of the flash memory used around the world is manufactured in japan. that goes into all kinds of electronics.
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it's going to put a lot of price pressure on things. >> we had talked a lot about the threat of a double-dip recession. is something like this enough to spark that for us in the united states? >> you know, people really aren't saying that yet. we don't really know what the impact is going to be. a lot depends on what happens with the nuclear situation. one thing about japan is it's a country that has been through troubles and rebounded in the past. the economy is controlled very closely by the government. they aren't afraid to get into spend to money to pump up the money supply. you know, no one is saying that yet. it's really a wait and see type thing. >> we wait and see. the dow jones industrials are down and off on the s&p 500 and the nasdaq. meliss melissa, phil, thanks. appreciate that. a well-known comedian is no longer the voice of aflac's duck today because of a not so funny joke about the tragedy. gilbert gottfried got fired
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after tweeting saturday i just split up with my girlfriend, but like the japanese say there will be another one floating by any minute now. aflac said there's no place for anything but compassion and concern. haley barbour has foot in mouth syndrome. the mississippi governor's press secretary said the song sitting on the dock of the bay is not a big hit right now. dan turner has resigned for that and other off-color comments. this young woman wasn't in the public eye at all until she made this youtube video slamming asian students and families at her school at ucla. her original video was taken down but not before it was copied and posted by others. she mocked the accents and family traditions and ranted about their frantic phone calls in the library. >> i swear they're going through their whole families checking on everybody from the tsunami thing. you should go outside if you're going to do that. >> now she's infamous with more
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than 1.3 million views. she's apologized in the school newspaper and said she doesn't know what possessed her to say that. ucla's chancellor called it thoughtless and hurtful. even in japan tokyo's mayor is apologizing for his own comments. he said this disaster was divine punishment for japan he's egoism. now he's trying to take it back. by the way, got a note in here, a senior defense eofficial says several sailors were given potassium iodine tablets today as a precaution. they returned from humanitarian flights over japanment they were given equipment to economic for containment and the sailors were given potassium iodine to protect them and their thyroids. how the struggling economy affects the presidential primary season. money might matter more than the calendar. sarah palin might not pal around with her conservative friends anymore. why one person compares her to al sharpton?
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japan has the monumental task to clean up after this deadly quake. where do you even begin with such destruction? [ female announcer ] there's a new way to let go of some of the annoying symptoms menopause brings. it's one a day menopause formula. the only complete multivitamin with soy isoflavones to help address hot flashes and mild mood changes. one a day menopause formula.
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blood tests will check for kidney problems. you may need a lower dose of onglyza if your kidneys are not working well or if you take certain medicines. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor about adding onglyza. extra help. extra control. you may be eligible to pay $10 a month with the onglyza value card program. i'm norah o'donnell. coming up on andrea mitchell reports, with fears growing more real by the minute we'll talk risks and worst-case scenario. plus, congressman cummings joins us as the house takes up another short-term spending measure to prevent the government from shutdown. andrea mitchell joins live from cairo traveling with secretary of state hillary clinton. she'll have the latest on u.s. efforts in japan and libya. we'll see you in 15 minutes. the financial crisis is
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forcing at least six states to consider changing the way they hold presidential primaries. officials in alabama, missouri and california are considering combining their stand-alone presidential primaries with state primaries. the move could save alabama, for instance, $4 million. it could save california $100 million. three other states, kansas, washington, and massachusetts, are considering holding iowa-style caucuses. here's your first look at the new no holds barred book about former alaska governor sarah palin, at least the cover of "the rouge." investigative journalist joel mcginnis wrote it. remember palin accused him of invading her privacy last year? palin's spat was not the first time she's lashed out at the media when she felt personally wronged. >> journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood
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libel that serves only to encite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. >> now critics on the right are saying enough already. enough complaining. they say palin's played the victim too many times. jonathan martin is a senior political reporter for plolitic. there's a headline on politico that grabbed my attention. quote, she's becoming al sharpton alaska edition. explain, please. >> sure. that was a quote in my story. those are not my words. those are the words of a long-time conservative writer for the weekly standard. the point echs making and the point other folks in the piece were making were all very respective conservative are that one of the principal tenets of conservatism for the last 40 years is they don't practice identity politics. the politics of class, race and
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gender, of certainly victimhood, that is in their mind what the other side does. one of the things that distinguishes the right from the left in the eyes of conservatives is they don't practice those politics. what these folks are saying is there's a greevengs politics and identity politics are central to sarah palin's political reez, and that is how she draws much of her support. so i think that drives some of the conservative frustration about her. they don't see her drawing folks in because of her ideas or for her policy to use. rather, they see her draw people to her because of who she is and what she stands for. >> do you think they're likely to distance themselves but actively work against her should a presidential run at the primaries become a reality? >> yeah, i think with a lot of conservative elite, if she did run for president, they would absolutely work against her. for who, i think it remains very
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much in the air. i think that's to be determined as far as who exactly would sort of be her main opponent. we're still aways away, contessa, from that being a possibility. she hasn't even said whether or not she would run. she would are to give up quite a lot as far as paid speeches and that fox news contract. i think that is far from a sure thing. yes, approximate if she does ru see conservative intellectuals and a lot of gop don ors and money folks in washington and beyond the party strajist. the political case of the party on poser. she doesn't care about that. she would, in fact, feed off of that and try to run as an outsider to take on the establishment. for her that's gravy in a lot of ways, but it would be fast and dynamic if she ran. you would see a lot of folks in the party that work real hard against her. >> out of curiosity, i don't
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suppose that al sharpton weighed in with you to say how he feels about being compared to sarah palin? >> no, he didn't. that soubds like a goot hit for you tomorrow, contessa. >> no doubt. jonathan martin has suggested what we should cover tomorrow. thank you for that. >> have a good day. mississippi governor haley barbour is taking another step toward throwing his hat in the ring in 2012. he tried out his economic message in chicago where he blasted president obama for not doing enough to help the economy. >> the recent election gave the president of zeal of a convert who just heard the gospel. now he's meeting with ceos, extending the bush tax cuts, even speaking to the u.s. chamber of commerce, talking to business leaders about the economy. now, that's change even i can believe in. despite all the talk, there's no change in policy. >> barbour laid out his own
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business-friendly economic plan including corporate tax cuts as well as expanding foreign trade and investment. potential presidential candidate donald trump is heading to new hampshire in june. they say trump will speak to state business leaders. it will be trump's first visit to new hampshire since he started openly exploring a presidential bid. a million dollars ain't what it used to be. almost half of americans who have a million dlars say they don't feel rich. that's the result of a new survey by fidelity investments that found 42% of millionaires don't feel wealthy. the survey found many say they would need at least $7.5 million in order to feel rich. there's a distinction there. being rich and feeling rich may be two totally separate things. either way, i'd like to try it. here's a look at what's happening this afternoon. president obama meetds with student finalists of the intel
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science talent search competition in an hour. big treat for them. veteran frank buckles will be buried today. echs the last surviving world war i veteran. he was 110 years old when he died last month. and a group of house democrats holding a fund-raiser for congresswoman gabrielle giffords in washington, d.c. it was arranged by debbie wasserman shuts as well as snore kirsten jill brand. what can you do with plain mashed potatoes? when you pour chunky beef with country vegetable soup over it, you can do dinner. 4 minutes, around 4 bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.™
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we have an update now on the radiation situation. the institute for science and international security, it's a washington-based nuclear research group, well-respected, says this reactor crisis in japan could actually reach the most dangerous, the maximum level here of 7. that's the highest level on that scale. the only time we've seen that scale hit was with the chernobyl disaster, but they're now predicting what we're seeing unfold in japan could hit a 7. we've been talking online today
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about experts' predictions about disaster in this country, earthquakes and tsunamis and of course the nuclear reactors, and i asked whether the warnings would be enough to motivate families to move away from the threat. harold writes, if if i had young children, i'd catch the first plane out of the area. dominick responds, they have more risk of dying of a fire in their homes and very few are smart enough to put fire sprinklers in a new home or do a simple test of smoke alarms. mary says, americans are really, really poor at assessing and understanding relative risks. i would never live close to a coal mining operation or oil refinery but i choose to live 1.8 miles from two reactors, no, she says, woii won't be leaving. you can reach me on facebook and twitter and my e-mail. the pictures we're seeing from skwjapan are unbelievable.
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whole towns wiped out, thousands of citizens missing or unaccounted for. a hospital near the epicenter where patients stood no chance, all but the top floors were destroyed. relief work rerz flooding into the region, but with so much damage it's difficult to know where to start. he was on the scene in kobe, japan and last year's earthquake in haiti. mark, when a whole town is wiped out, when more than half of the population is missing, how do you even begin what we call cleanup? >> clean jup comes in many different forms. they're trained for this. they've practiced and exercises types catastrophic events like and the debris is one of those things. they identify which areas need
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to be found. i would imagine a lot of emphasis on that will be assisting those officials as they do their work. >> i imagine priority number one is the search for suffer vooifrs but moving survivors to a safe place. you have almost half a million people in shelters in japan. what happens after you have temporary shelter? >> well, there has to be some sort of interim shelter system put in place if they expect the individuals that have been evacuated and their homes destroyed can get back into communities. it will be some time before they go back to where their homes are or were. they have to have a plan to house those individuals for a long period of time. >> in many cases what we see in jap fan is reminiscent of what we saw in haiti. piles of nothing but rubble. does that require heavy machinery to come in, take it and clear it out to the dump? >> no. it's going to be much more complicated than that, because a lot of that rubble after a
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tsunami is going to be contaminated. it's mixed with every household chemical, there's oil and potential radiation risks and there's the issues with all different types of things mixed in that rubble. they have to handle it carefully. >> thank you for joining us. we appreciate your special insight. >> thank you. that wraps up this hour for me. i'm contessa brewer. thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern and 9:00 a.m. in the west. more u.s. military teams arrive in japan. three ships we're told to help with disaster relief. we'll follow the efforts. up next andrea mitchell reports and norah o'donnell is filling in today. >> as the nuclear crisis in japan worsens, we'll talk worst kaz scenario with the leezing nuclear physicist. what is the u.s. doing to help in the region. we report live from cairo on the road with secretary of state hillary clinton. that's next on "andrea mitchell reports."
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right now on "andrea mitt xhel reports" nuclear nightmare they say the catastrophe is now worse than three mile island. this after a fire in reactor four releases radiation directly into the atmosphere. and new aftershocks rattle the quake-ravaged region as the death toll rises, search crews from across the globe fan out in hopes of finding signs of live. >> it's impressive. it's amazing what has happened to this area. overwhelming. you wonder how the locals -- the local people who live here are to recover from it. >> i'm andrea mitchell in cairo where secretary of state hillary clinton is dealing with the japan crisis, set backs for the rebels in libya, and growing tensions between the united states and its most important arab ally, saudi arabia. big news

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